Motorists warned not to photograph or film crash scenes

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Drivers who snapped photos of a fatal crash — and one who was live streaming it on the internet — crossed a line, Chatham-Kent OPP says.

Police scolded drivers Friday who recorded images of a six-vehicle crash July 30 on Highway 401 near Dillon Road.

A tractor-trailer collided at about 4:40 p.m. with five vehicles stopped on the highway by an earlier crash. Two passengers in a pickup were killed.

OPP officers on the scene saw drivers using cellphones to take pictures and video, Chatham-Kent OPP Const. Jay Denorer said Friday.

“One of the transport drivers was walking with his phone out and I asked him not to take photos of the scene, because the bodies were still inside the vehicle,” Denorer said. “He’s like, ‘I’m not taking photos. I’m live-streaming on Facebook.’ ”

“I’m like, ‘Don’t do that. It’s wrong.’ ”

All of this happened before police could confirm who was in the vehicle, and notify next of kin, Denorer said.

The OPP said in a release people tempted to post crash photos should think how they would feel about finding out through social media that a relative had been in a crash.

“Death notification by social media is not right,” the OPP said.

Drivers who use their phones to take photos also put others at risk, Denorer said.

“It’s actually distracted driving. You’re taking your eyes off the road,” he said.

“What happens if you’re doing it and you’re in a collision, and you get injured or killed, and we go to tell your family that you were trying to post pictures of another collision scene?”

Denorer said the photos the OPP make public, or ask media at the scene to take, are as nondescript as possible.


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